Coronavirus might be out of the news for now, but that doesn’t mean the threat has gone away. People can still catch the disease by touching contaminated surfaces in the home and then touching their mouths, noses, or eyes. Fortunately, there are several products on the market that make it easy to kill coronavirus dead. Let’s compare three of them below:
Household coronavirus products: The low down
Products claiming to kill coronavirus began emerging in early 2020 as news of a new virus in Wuhan, China, hit the headlines. When Western countries went into lockdown in March of that year, brands started selling products designed to help control the spread of disease. In the early days, prevention involved regular hand washing and wiping down surfaces where the virus could linger. Fortunately, the new virus was no less resistant to existing anti-germ household products than any other. It still had a vulnerable protein and lipid shell that cleaning agents could disrupt, rendering it inactive. This meant that existing products people already had lying around their homes could kill it.
Bleach to kill coronavirus
Bleach is perhaps the most powerful of all household cleaners. The active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, can denature the protein shell (or capsid) that surrounds coronavirus’s RNA, even at low concentrations. It’s also a common cleaner, meaning that most people already have it and don’t need to buy any additional products. Economy is another reason for choosing bleach. Solutions with less than 2 per cent sodium hypochlorite will kill COVID-19. Just mix half a cup of neat bleach from the bottle with a gallon of warm water (roughly 3.5 litres) and then use a sponge to wipe down hard surfaces, like tables, sinks, desks, and toilets. With that said, bleach is not a suitable cleaner for all surfaces in your home. Applying it to fabrics may also cause serious discolouration. Users also need to wear gloves. Bleach can irritate and damage the skin.
Does alcohol disinfectant work on coronavirus?
People have been using alcohol-based disinfectants since the start of the pandemic to keep their hands clean. However, they are also effective on surfaces. To kill COVID-19, the alcohol disinfectant should be more than 70 per cent alcohol if isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol or more than 60 per cent if using ethanol. If it is less than that, the alcohol concentration will not be high enough to disrupt the protein shell of the virus, and it will survive. Therefore, if you have alcohol in your home, check the label to ensure that the concentration is above the minimum threshold.
Do disinfectant wipes work on coronavirus
Disinfectant wipes contain a host of active ingredients, including alcohol, ammonium compounds, chlorine, and aldehydes. Manufacturers use a combination of substances to minimise toxicity for homeowners while maximising germicidal properties. Wipes dry naturally and, usually, do not leave marks.
Bleach for coronavirus pros and cons
• Only a small amount required
• Kills COVID-19 and many other microorganisms, including bacteria and fungus
• A common product found in virtually every household
• May damage some surfaces and discolour fabrics
• Should not be mixed with vinegar as it can give off toxic chlorine gas
• Requires the user to wear gloves while cleaning
Alcohol for coronavirus pros and cons
• Dries quickly
• Affordable, accessible household cleaning product
• Suitable for common fixtures, such as chrome door knobs, without leaving water spots
• Produces a pungent smell while drying
• Must be highly concentrated to be effective
• Can damage some porous surfaces, such as wood and granite
• Can dry out the skin: gloves recommended
Disinfectant wipes for coronavirus pros and cons
• Easily transported
• Suitable for small devices, such as smartphones
• Dries quickly without the need to wipe down with a paper towel
• Increased waste: disinfectant wipes rely on paper carriers
• Most products contain a range of active ingredients, a risk for people with sensitivities
• Each wipe can only cover a small area
Which coronavirus killing product is right for you?
All of the products listed above will kill coronavirus dead. However, which you choose will depend on your circumstances. If you cannot risk COVID-19 infection at all, use bleach. Even in small concentrations, sodium hypochlorite will kill the germs. By contrast, if you’re looking for convenience, choose wipes. You can bring these with you, clean surfaces on the fly, and disinfect smaller objects, such as your phone or a door handle.